Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waxman backs down on Obamacare inquisition

It appears that Henry Waxman has backed down from his plans to interrogate corporate executives who have dared to restate their companies' earnings projections downward to acccount for Obamacare.  From David Freddoso at The Washington Examiner:
A House Energy and Commerce Committee spokeswoman tells me that Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has indeed cancelled the April 21 subcommittee hearing in which CEOs were to testify about Obamacare. So far, the only indication of this change appears on the committee's website is on the Republican minority ranking member's site. In fact, the hearing still appears on Waxman's committee calendar for that day.

Waxman had called the hearing in reaction to public statements by several companies -- including Verizon, AT&T, and John Deere, among others -- that Obamacare would cost them hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars because it laid a new tax on their retiree health benefit payments.

Ever since the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit, the payments had been subsidized, tax-free, as a way of preventing these companies from dropping enrollees onto the Medicare rolls, where they would cost the government far more. When Obamacare changed the tax rules, it was quite clear that this would result in huge losses, but President Obama and Democrats had failed to heed warnings to this effect in the run up to Obamacare's passage last month.

The CEOs, required by law to be honest about earnings projections, re-stated their bottom lines in reaction to Obamacare's passage, earning the ire of Waxman and other Democrats.

Hearings on this matter would likely have proved an embarrassment to the Democrats and helped drag out discussion of Obamacare's unexpected ill effects.
Could it be that the upcoming Tax Day Tea Party protests have actually shaken Chairman Waxman to his senses?

Nah. He's just moved on to another issue that he can really sink his teeth into.  Business Week headline today:  Waxman Calls For Major League Baseball Ban on Chewing Tobacco. (h/t Michelle Malkin)

1 comment:

  1. The WAX-MAN would have had his ass handed to him if this meeting had occurred... The CEO's would have had their inside legal counsel and CFO/Controllers in attendance. These folks would have recited the laws that they would have violated if they had NOT adjusted their financial projections. WAX-MAN would have looked like an idiot...